FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Some people with kidney disease can improve their health by adding fruits and vegetables to their diet, a new study indicates.
A second study found that poor nutrition plays a role in the association between poverty and kidney disease, and a third study found that black kidney disease patients are more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure than white patients.
The three reports were presented Friday at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting in San Diego. Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Alkaline therapy is used to treat kidney disease patients with severe metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the body). Researchers examined whether there was any benefit to adding fruit and vegetables -- which are highly alkaline -- to the diets of kidney disease patients with less severe metabolic acidosis.
The 108 patients in the study were randomly selected to receive added fruits and vegetables, an oral alkaline medication or nothing. After three years, consuming fruits and vegetables or taking the oral medication reduced a marker of metabolic acidosis and preserved kidney function to similar extents.
"Our findings suggest that an apple a day keeps the nephrologist away," study author Dr. Nimrit Goraya, of Texas A&M College of Medicine, said in a university news release.
The second study included more than 2,000 people and found that 5.6 percent of those who lived in poverty had kidney disease, compared with 3.8 percent of those who didn't live in poverty. It also found that those living in poverty had a lower dietary intake of fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium, and higher cholesterol levels.
"An unhealthy diet is strongly associated with kidney disease among poor individuals," study author Dr. Deidra Crews, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore,
All rights reserved